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Contact: Eric J. Walkinshaw, Project Manager, 360-569-6713
Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Randy King and General Highway Administration, Western Federal Lands Highway Division officials announce that Phase 2 of the planned rehabilitation of 10 miles of Stevens Canyon Road was awarded to Tucci and Sons, Inc. of Tacoma, WA for $8,910,093.23 with a Notice to Proceed issued for project start on May 29, 2012 and a contract completion date of September 17, 2013.
The National Park Service prepared an Environmental Assessment and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), which was approved by the Pacific West Regional Director on July 1, 2010. The FONSI calls for the resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation of the Stevens Canyon Road and other related facilities, including bridges, tunnels, culverts, guard walls, retaining walls, turnouts and the short Wonderland Trail section adjacent to Reflection Lake. The improvements will occur along two segments of the road, totaling 10.09 miles of the 19 mile road (see map).
- Starting in early June until September 4th, visitors should anticipate 20-minute delays, Monday Friday, through each of two segments of roadwork on Stevens Canyon Road.
- From September 4, 2012 until winter closure, Stevens Canyon Road will be closed to through traffic (for both vehicles and bicycles) from just east of the intersection with the Paradise Valley Road to the east end of the tunnel at Box Canyon.
Visitors will be able to access Backbone Ridge, Box Canyon and adjacent trailheads via the East Entrance near State Route 123 during the 2012 closure. Wonderland Tail hikers as well as day hikers will be permitted to hike through the construction zone to access adjacent trails.
Forty-five sites have been identified as needing subsurface stabilization to halt roadway embankment creep that has resulted in surface tension cracks and appreciable horizontal and vertical displacement. Several sites that required either 3/4-width or full embankment replacement down to a depth of 5 feet were stabilized during Phase 1, which was completed in October 2011. In Phase 2, two sites will require full roadway embankment replacement down to a depth of 22 feet as well as retaining/guard wall replacement, which will necessitate the closure of Stevens Canyon Road from September 4, 2012 until winter shutdown. The contractor will also be repairing tunnel walls during the closure period. Prior to the September 2012 closure, the contractor will perform shallower sub-surface stabilization work that will be accomplished under traffic control conditions.
- Stevens Canyon roadwork is scheduled to extend until mid September 2013, although no closures are anticipated during the 2013 season.
During the 2013 season, the contractor will focus on drainage improvements, repair/stabilization and reconstruction of historic rock retaining walls, milling/recycling the asphalt surface as road base, and resurfacing with new hot-mix asphalt which will be accomplished while the roadway is open to the public. At this time visitors should again anticipate maximum 20 minute delays through each segment Mondays through Fridays until project completion on September 17, 2013. No closures anticipated in 2013.
Stevens Canyon Road connects the east and west side of the park, extending for 19 miles from SR 123 at the east end to intersect with the Nisqually to Paradise Road at the west end, tow miles south of Paradise. During the 2012 closure period, visitors are encouraged to access the Paradise area from the southwest via the Nisqually Entrance at the east end of SR 706. Visitors traveling from the east via SR 410, SR 123, and/or US 12 who wish to visit the Paradise area are encouraged to seek alternate routes.
While the construction an associated closures and traffic delays present an inconvenience, the rehabilitation work will not only improve the driving surface of the roadway, but ensure its longevity.
Updated information on this project may be obtained by calling Mount Rainier National Park at 360-569-2166. Information on this project, as well as general park information, is also available on Mount Rainier National Park's website.
NOTE: Drivers can now get real time traffic and weather information by dialing 5-1-1 from most cell phones. This new traveler information system builds upon the highly successful Washington State Highway hotline that manages 4.6 million calls each year. Plan to call prior to driving to the park, as cell phone coverage is minimal to non-existent within the park. Callers can also use 5-1-1 to get statewide construction, mountain pass conditions, and state ferry system information, as well as toll free numbers for passenger rail and airlines. TTY users can call 1-800-833-6388.